This study of Civil War-era politics explores how German immigrants influenced the rise and fall of white commitment to African-American rights. Intertwining developments in Europe and North America, Alison Clark Efford describes how the presence of naturalized citizens affected the status of former slaves and identifies 1870 as a crucial turning point. That year, the Franco-Prussian War prompted German immigrants to re-evaluate the liberal nationalism underpinning African-American suffrage. Throughout the period, the newcomers' approach to race, ethnicity, gender and political economy shaped American citizenship law.
Alison Clark Efford is Assistant Professor of History at Marquette University. Her 2008 doctoral dissertation won the Friends of the German Historical Institute's Fritz Stern Prize.
Introduction: naturalized citizens, transnational perspectives, and the arc of reconstruction; 1. The German language of American citizenship; 2. The 'freedom-loving German', 1854-60; 3. Black suffrage as a German cause in Missouri, 1865; 4. Principal rising, 1865-9; 5. Wendepunkt: the Franco-Prussian War, 1870-1; 6. The Liberal Republican transition, 1870-2; 7. Class, culture, and the decline of reconstruction, 1870-6; Epilogue: the Great Strike of 1877; Appendix: voting tables; Bibliography.